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The Supreme Court has slammed former Maharashtra chief minister Manohar Joshi while rejecting his plea to erase the strictures passed against him and the then minister of state Ravindra Mane in a land use change case.

The two changed the land use rules for a plot meant for a primary school in Pune to benefit a private builder,e who was close to Joshi’s son-in-law Girish Vyas.

“It is rather unfortunate that the then chief minister, who claims to be an educationist, took interest in releasing a plot duly reserved and acquired for a primary school only for the benefit of his son-in-law,” said the apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran (since retired) and Justice H.L. Gokhale in their recent judgment.

The court said that either the developer of this plot, where a ten-storeyed building has come up, has to give up his claim over it or the builder or the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) would demolish the disputed building.

The strictures passed by the Bombay High Court against Joshi and Mane are maintained, the judgment said.

The Pune Municipal Corporation, by its order of Aug 21, 1996, changed the land use of a plot meant for a primary school to favour a builder who was a camouflage for Manohar Joshi’s son-in-law. The nod for the change in the land use was given by Joshi himself.

However, in a relief to Joshi and Mane, the apex court said that the “order directing criminal investigation and thereafter further action as warranted in law, is however deleted.”

The court directed Joshi and Mane to pay Rs.25,000 each to two petitioners who challenged their action before the Bombay High Court

 


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